Posted by Marie Presti on 1/17/2016

Trying to decide what type of mortgage is right for you can be tricky business. So you may be wondering what is an adjustable rate mortgage? An adjustable rate mortgage or ARM, has an interest rate that is linked to an economic index. This means the interest rate, and your payments, adjust up or down as the index changes. There are three things to know about adjustable rate mortgages: index, margin and adjustment period. What is the index? The index is a guide that lenders use to measure interest rate changes. Common indexes used by lenders include the activity of one, three, and five-year Treasury securities. Each adjustable rate mortgage is linked to a specific index. The margin is the lender's cost of doing business plus the profit they will make on the loan. The margin is added to the index rate to determine your total interest rate. The adjustment period is the period between potential interest rate adjustments. For example, you may see a loan described as a 5-1. The first figure (5) refers to the initial period of the loan, or how long the rate will stay the same. The second number (1) is the adjustment period. This is how often adjustments can be made to the rate after the initial period has ended. In this case, one year or annually. An adjustable rate mortgage might be a good choice if you are looking to qualify for a larger loan. The rate of an ARM is typically lower than a fixed rate mortgage. Remember, when the adjustment period is up the rate and payment can increase. Another reason to consider an ARM is if you are planning to sell the home within a few years. If this is the case you may end up selling before the adjustment period is up. Federal law provides that all lenders provide a federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement before consummating a consumer credit transaction. This will be given to you in writing. It is designed to help you compare and select a mortgage.





Posted by Marie Presti on 1/10/2016

Mold could be lurking in your home, often found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms. You can also find mold near leaking pipes, faulty air ducts, leaking roofs, and areas that have previously been flooded. Mold found in your home can cause you serious health problems and major damage to your home. The only way to truly know if you have a mold problem is to have a professional mold inspection. Here are a few reasons why you should hire a professional home mold inspector: 1. To see if you have hidden mold growth. A professional mold inspector has special equipment to locate mold. Hidden mold is found in places like in the drywall, under the carpets, and in the air ducts. 2. Do you suffer from allergies, coughing, or headaches? All of these could be symptoms of mold exposure. 3. Before you buy a home have a mold inspection to identify and address any mold issues before closing on the home. That way you will feel more comfortable and confident with purchasing the home. 4. Most home insurance policies do not cover major mold damage. It is important to protect your investment by knowing if the home has mold that needs to be addressed. A professional mold inspection can help protect your health and protect your investment as well.





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/27/2015

Rates are low, prices are right, and now is a perfect time to think about investing in real estate. Many would-be investors think real estate is a way to quick riches. Rapid monetary returns are usually not the case. However, the rewards can be substantial if you are willing be patient, do the necessary homework, and make a few good decisions along the way. Before you start investing in real estate, here are a few things to consider: • Start small: Don't go large on your first investment. Take on a smaller investment first so you have the opportunity to make some mistakes that won't cost you large amounts of money. Investing is a learning process. • Don't overpay: Do your research on your potential investment. Do full a full property evaluation; research the location, have a home inspection, and look into any liens and owed taxes. Always conduct an in-depth property analysis before negotiating any terms. • Consider the margins: Paying the bills on an investment property is different than paying for your personal residence.  When you buy an income property to rent, you're calculating how the income (rent payments) will help pay the mortgage and operating costs. • Know your partners: Having a bad partner could be your biggest downfall. Try to team up with a more seasoned real estate investor to learn the ropes. It is also important to be comfortable with your partner. Like all other businesses, real estate investing, requires a well thought out plan if you want to succeed. Weigh all the risks involved in real estate investing and develop a plan on how you will manage and overcome them before you get started.  





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/6/2015

Are you thinking of buying a home with a septic system? Septic systems are common in the suburbs and more rural areas where municipal sewers are not available. So what is a septic system? It is a self-contained, underground waste water treatment system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainage system. The septic tank is a large, watertight container. It can be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The septic tank is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and the waste in it. The drainage system has several parts; an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and a leach field. When liquids inside the septic tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe leads to the distribution box which then channels waste water into the perforated pipes. The waste water is then distributed into the leach field. There is usually no cause to worry when buying a home with a septic system. It is prudent to have the septic system inspected or ask for proof of inspection during the purchase process.  If maintained properly, a septic system can last between 25 to 35 years.





Posted by Marie Presti on 11/3/2015

All In a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for Our Clients Problem: Our clients’ must-have-list read like this: new construction, four bedrooms, a wow-worthy kitchen, a barn (to function as an entertainment hub), and a large lot — quite a challenge considering they were looking in the $750,000 range and didn’t want to be too far from Boston. Solution: Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are dream homes on a budget. We were upfront with our clients that it was unlikely they’d get everything on their list, but that we would strive to get as close as possible.  We found a home in Wayland that had some of what they were looking for, but it was only a three-bedroom. We identified a first-floor room that could be used as a fourth bedroom, but unfortunately, the septic system couldn’t accommodate an additional bedroom. We had an idea. The existing septic system had failed and the owners were obliged to put in a new one.  We counseled our clients to make an offer contingent on the owners installing a four-bedroom septic system. Their offer was accepted. Once the septic system is installed, the value of the home will immediately jump by approximately $30,000 because it will be a four-bedroom. (By the way, the home is surrounded by others in the million dollar range, a good thing! ) Our clients plan to build a closet in the fourth bedroom and since there is already a full bath on the floor they will have a guest suite for the wife’s dad.  And by paying less than they budgeted for the home, they now can afford a kitchen re-do.  They’re also researching how to move a barn — an old one they plan to restore — onto their property.  They’ll soon have that home they dreamed about. All in a Day’s Work: Solving Real-Life, Real Estate Problems for our Clients is a monthly feature brought to you by Marie Presti of the Presti Realty Group of Realty Executives. Our agents specialize in luxury homes, rehabilitations, multi-families and condominiums in urban, suburban and exurban areas throughout the Greater Boston area. Marie Presti is a Certified Negotiation Expert. For more information, visit http://www.PrestiRealtyGroup.com